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How to furnishing a living room – best tips ever

Our living rooms are some of the most used areas in the home, and where the entire family gathers for conversation, relaxation, TV watching or game nights. However, it can be difficult for people to furnish a living room since there are so many different activities to take into account.

Not only do you need to choose the right furniture, but you also need to place them in the best possible areas, while keeping a good flow throughout the room, allow for good lighting conditions and personal decorations, in order to create a comfortable and inviting living room.

In this article we will examine some of the best tips ever, so you can furnish a living room the best way possible. Enjoy!

Consider the function of your living room

When it comes to design, one of the most important features is to consider the function in which it serves. Therefore one of the most important steps to furnish a living room the best way possible, is to consider the different activities you wish the living room to accommodate.

Most families consider the living room to be a place of relaxation, where the entire family can gather after a day of work or school. Therefore a large and comfortable sofa is important for many people, since it allows everyone a good view of the TV and a nice place to rest.

On the other hand, homeowners without children might consider a smaller sofa, and furnish their living room with other furniture designed for houseguests. These people typically use their living room as a formal sitting area where they entertain guests, or hold meetings and receptions.

Consider the size of your living room

Another important factor is the size of the area you have to work with. Not only will this dictate the size of your sofa and other furniture, but it can also help you narrow down your options.

If you have a relatively small living room, it can be a good idea to make the most of your space. This could involve placing the sofa up against the wall, using furniture that serves multiple functions, and making good use of the vertical space with bookshelves and artwork.

In larger living rooms it becomes possible to try out more unique styles of interior designs. For instance, you can place the sofa away from the wall, using it to divide the room into different areas in a natural and interesting way.

One way to make the living room seem larger is by using tall curtains that go all the way from the top of the ceiling to the floor. This creates the illusion of more height, and also provides a more stylish look. The same goes for your rugs as well. By placing these underneath furniture, such as the legs of the sofa or dining table, you extend the vision of the eye and make the room seem slightly larger.

Finally, we advice you to use a light color scheme in neutral colors, as primary colors such as green, red or blue can make the room seem smaller. Going for beige, gray or white is typically the better option for a narrow living room.

Where should I put the TV?

An easy way to lend some style and interest to your living room is by creating a focal point. Many homeowners enjoy watching TV from time to time, but many people struggle with incorporating the large screen into their interior designs.

Mounting the TV on a wall and hiding the wires can be a relatively cheap and easy way to upgrade the look and feel of the room. Just remember that the height should be comfortable when you relax in the sofa.

If you still feel the TV looks a little out of place, you can even add some decor in the form of pictures and artwork around it, or frame the TV with some hanging shelves.

Work with the flow of your living room

The living room is similar to the kitchen, in that it quickly becomes a central hub of your home. This requires you to be able to move from one end to the other without bumping into furniture, so it is important to consider the layout and placement of your furniture carefully.

You should also take into account the size of your living room and the flow of foot traffic through the space. Some living rooms might be best served with angled armchairs to better allow people moving past them, and also add a level of visual interest and uniqueness to the room.

Other times it can be a good idea to place the armchairs facing each other for an intimate area that allows conversation and relaxation. Using side tables in between to arm chairs placed next to each other is another classic example, but typically requires a bit more space in order not to be troublesome to move around.

Consider the right living room light

Having good lighting not only means being able to see properly, it can also help improve the overall mood of yourself, your family and your guests. Adequate lighting also ensures that your living room feels larger than it actually is, and therefore it is important not to forget lamps and other lighting options.

You can also create this illusion of more space naturally, by making use the natural lighting from windows to your advantage, by choosing curtains that allows the sunlight to shine through at all times, and by placing your furniture in such a way that the sunlight is not blocked at any point or angle.

Another advice for good lighting, is to wait until it is dark outside, and then turn on your lamps in the living room. Look for areas where the dark wins out over the light, and consider what type of lighting you can add in that area.

We recommend that you use a combination of overhead lighting, table lamps, and floor lamps to create different levels of lighting and to add depth to the space. We also advice you to pick the same type of light bulbs in all your light fixtures.

Bulbs with warm tones to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, which make them great for using in your living room. Light bulbs with cooler tones have a higher color temperature and emit light that appears bluish-white. Depending on your preference, you might want a cooler light bulb, as it will promote productivity, which can be good if you work from home, or if your children are doing their homework in your living room.


  • Where to place the sofa?

The sofa is a great place to relax after a long day at work. It is also great for gathering friends or family members, and typically used for watching TV or reading books.

Therefore your sofa should be placed so that it can serve all these purposes. Consider the size and shape of your living room, and then think about whether placing your sofa up against the wall, or floating in the room is the best way for you.

It can also help narrowing down the placement when considering which walls are best suited for hanging a TV, since some walls might be filled with large windows or doors, forcing you to choose a certain wall in the room.

  • How should I furnish my living room?

It can be difficult to visualize how to furnish a living room, especially if you have no existing furniture. If you already have a few pieces, consider the style they are in, and shop for more of a similar color scheme and design.

If you are shopping for completely new furniture, it can be a good idea to determine which style you wish to go for, by browsing different interior design blogs, different showrooms in stores, or perhaps copying the design from a friend or family member.

We also advice to you start shopping for the largest pieces first, as they will have the biggest impact, and be the most important when it comes to serving a function. After that you can take your time in adding smaller pieces, such as rugs and curtains, lighting and accessories.

  • How to furnish a narrow living room?

When it comes to narrow living rooms, one of the most important things to consider is the amount of clutter. A narrow living room can seem even smaller than it is, if it is filled with too many pieces of furniture or decorative items. Therefore a minimalistic style is ideal for this type of living room.

A narrow living room can benefit from low-profile furniture, such as sofas and chairs with lower backs and thinner arms. This will help make the room feel more spacious. For these types of living rooms you should always consider the dimensions of the furniture, and typically go for smaller, rather than larger pieces.

Another tip is to furnish a narrow living room with pieces that have exposed legs, as this seems less bulky. This furniture also feels more light, and allows for your lighting to reach all of your living room.

Finally, we recommend considering a modular sofa, or chairs that can be put together, to save valuable space when you do not need all of the seating spaces available. This will also make it easier to clean your living room, and give you options for different styles and looks depending on the occasion.

  • How do you furnish a small living room?

Many of the tips we described for furnishing a narrow living room also applies to small living rooms. However, we also recommend you to go for smaller furniture pieces that are more befitting to the size of the room. By avoiding large and bulky pieces, you avoid overwhelming the space.

Adding a few mirrors hanging on the wall can be a great way to create the illusion of a larger space, and also help distribute the light more effectively.

For smaller living rooms it can also be beneficial to consider furniture that serves multiple purposes, such as nesting coffee tables that easily can be pulled apart to create additional surfaces for drinks and snacks. By choosing a coffee table in a lighter color scheme, or with a glass top, you can increase the amount of light in the living room, thus adding to the feeling of more space.

Another important feature to consider, is furniture with storage options built in. These days you can find many stylish coffee tables that have an area underneath the main surface where you can store magazines or books.

You can also find sofas that are comfortable to sit on, but can double as pull-out beds, or that have storage capabilities for the cozy winter blankets, pillows, and other items that are nice to have, but would clutter up the living room during the day.

Summary – furnishing a living room

We hope this article helped you decide how to furnish your living room, and that you learned a few new tips and tricks. Ultimately, we hope you learned the importance of considering the function and size of the living room and creating a focal point to create an interesting space.

We also covered how to best make use of rugs, curtains, furniture and in general work with the flow of the room, to help you make the best decisions. Finally, we also provided some answers to typical questions that many of our readers have.

We hope you enjoyed this article, good luck with designing your living room!

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    Maria Ljungström

    Maria Ljungström is the founder and writer at She is an expert in interior design and has worked as a home stylist with a solid background in interior decorating. Maria likes to offer tips on how to make your home beautiful and luxurious affordably. With Inredningsvis, she has participated in several well-known media outlets such as Expressen, DN, and has written for GP Bostad.

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    Interior design is Sweden's most popular site about interior design and lifestyle, with thousands of readers every month. Maria Ljungström founded Inredningsvis and she has a true eye for how to make a home look luxurious and personal.


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